ABA Journal

Legal Writing

391 ABA Journal Legal Writing articles.

Grisham, other legal novelists among authors suing OpenAI for using their copyrighted work

Several legal novelists, including John Grisham and Scott Turow, are among 17 authors joining with the Authors Guild in a proposed class action lawsuit against the artificial intelligence program OpenAI.

If law schools prohibit ChatGPT in writing, can they back it up?

Using artificial intelligence to write admissions essays now comes with significant risks at the University of Michigan Law School, which recently asked applicants to certify that they did not use the technology for drafting purposes.

On Better Terms: What should we do with ‘nonlawyer’?

“Nonlawyer” means someone who isn’t a lawyer. But for years, many have found the word objectionable. And the case against “nonlawyer” isn’t as clear-cut as it might seem, says a lawyer specializing in how to say concisely whatever you want in a contract.

3 legal tech founders share their perspectives on raising money in the current environment

Ari Kaplan recently spoke with Katherine Allen, the CEO of Flo Recruit; Ross Guberman, the CEO of BriefCatch; and Jim Wagner, the CEO of the Contract Network.

Summer reading and back-to-law-school tips

It's time for The Modern Law Library's summer recommendations episode, in which host Lee Rawles shares her pop culture picks with you, plus a re-airing of one of our older episodes with current relevance.

Federal judge considers ‘burning’ legal question—does ‘attorney fee’ need apostrophe and ‘s’?

U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew M. Edison of the Southern District of Texas uses a footnote to address “one of the burning legal questions of our generation.” Is the proper term “attorney fees,” “attorneys fees,” “attorney’s fees” or “attorneys’ fees”?

Trial lawyer’s tales include wins, losses and international intrigue

The year was 1961. Freshly minted attorney James J. Brosnahan had been on the job as a federal prosecutor in Phoenix for two days when he was handed his first trial: a capital murder case.

Legal Interpretation: A quiz based on recent cases

It’s fascinating to monitor how American courts interpret legal instruments. Do they go by the words, or do they let other considerations influence their decisions? That is to say, are they textualists or nontextualists? Regardless of how you see the merits of that issue, you might try your hand at these problems that American courts have decided since 2017.

How collegiality can influence judicial decisions

When dissenting from an ideological foe, judges from federal courts of appeal use an estimated 8.3 fewer negative emotional words if the author of the majority opinion works in the same building. Apparently, it can be uncomfortable riding on an elevator with someone whose opinion you have called “plainly wrong.”

A Framework for Reparations: Scholars worked years to develop detailed, ‘feasible’ plan

For decades, politicians, scholars and activists have debated whether there should be reparations for slavery, and if so, what form that compensation would take. In The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice, authors William A. Darity Jr., A. Kirsten Mullen and Lucas Hubbard work to answer all questions and move the reparations discussion from theory to action, tapping an interdisciplinary team to create a framework to advance the cause.

Lawyers who ‘doubled down’ and defended ChatGPT’s fake cases must pay $5K, judge says

A federal judge in New York City has ordered two lawyers and their law firm to pay $5,000 for submitting a brief with fake cases made up by ChatGPT and then standing by the research.

‘My Mom, the Lawyer’ explores women’s work and personal lives through the eyes of their children

While directed at young children, a lawyer’s book also speaks to lawyers who are moms, letting them know that being both can be a busy but fulfilling life.

SCOTUS faces ‘a catastrophic loss of institutional legitimacy,’ warns author

In his new book, The Supermajority: How the Supreme Court Divided America, Michael Waldman identifies three times that the U.S. Supreme Court caused a public backlash against itself—and warns that the court may be well along the path to a fourth massive public backlash.

Is the word ‘alien’ objectionable? Federal appeals judge sees ‘no need to bowdlerize’ decisions and laws

A federal appeals judge who announced plans to boycott Yale Law School students for clerkships is taking aim at his colleagues for using the word “noncitizen” instead of “alien."

Judge finds out why brief cited nonexistent cases—ChatGPT did research

A federal judge in New York City has ordered two lawyers and their law firm to show cause why they shouldn’t be sanctioned for submitting a brief with citations to fake cases, thanks to research by ChatGPT.

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